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Academic areas to focus on to become a radar engineer

  1. Nov 20, 2009 #1
    This is my first post but I've perused the forums often enough before (usually while I should be studying instead!). I'm 26 and in my second year of a 4 year Electrical Engineering degree (late starter). I am currently intrigued by radar and how to engineer machines to detect and track an object's location relative to itself using such methods (and vice versa).
    Can anyone give me recommendations of areas I could study in my own spare time this Summer (southern hemisphere) to give myself an advantage and to test how deep my interest in this subject actually goes?
    Areas such as specific mathematical principles or particular books I should read etc, would be greatly appreciated. Also any general info / advice in this area would be readily soaked up.
    How does one usually work and study in this area?
    Thanks for your time!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2009 #2
    Radar engineering is a vast subject. It is necessary to learn RF (radio frequency) design, microwave design, antenna design, and DSP.

    For starters, see if you can find any RF design handbook in the library, or consider getting the https://www.amazon.com/ARRL-Handbook-Radio-Communications-2009/dp/0872591395" which is pretty comprehensive collection of nice articles on the subject.

    Also, have a look through this site: http://www.microwaves101.com/

    which has tons of articles on rf and microwave engineering,

    and check out online radar tutorial: http://www.radartutorial.eu/index.en.html
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Nov 20, 2009 #3
    Wow, incredible website. Thankyou.
  5. Nov 21, 2009 #4
    I knew a software engineer who had to join a development team to do some DSP of a radar signal - without prior knowledge of radar systems. He was given a copy of "Introduction to Airborne Radar" (by Stimson), so this is probably a good one to aquire some knowledge quickly. But it's expensive, so you might prefer to look at the online radar tutorial that waht gave you, or to wait for other free ressources before you buy it.

    If you want to get a good overview of all the different aspects of radar design, try to find the "Radar Handbook" (by Skolnik) in your library. I do NOT recommend that you buy it (at least not now). It's expensive and much of it's content is probably much too advanced for you right now. But it is very comprehensive, just read the introduction of each chapter, and browse through the rest - this will help you decide whether radar is the right thing for you, and which of it's aspects is the most interesting.

    As for a general advice: I think radar is one of the few fields where the "cutting edge" of the technology is still driven by military requirements (no statistics at hand to back this up, let's say it's my gut feeling). The US are leading the field, for other western countries it depends on how big their defence budget is, and whether they are so close friends with the US that they let them join a project in this sensitive area. You mentionend you are from the southern hemisphere - hmmm, depending on your nationality, this might mean you will never have a chance to work in some of these military projects.

    Of course, there are also a lot a fascinating civil applications - don't know much about them, but for example putting a radar on a sattelite to map the earth or the clouds comes to mind. Or putting a radar on a car to measure the distance to the car before you (or to other objects), guess there is a HUGE market fot this. So I DON'T want to discourage you in any way. Just keep this info in the back of your head when you decide which area is the one for you (or ask others if it's true at all, I might be wrong).


    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  6. Nov 24, 2009 #5
    I am in Australia. I understand we have some large radar systems around for monitoring our coastline and what-not, but not sure on research and employment opportunities.
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